C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Fresh trouble for I-T officer
After graft, CBI registers disproportionate assets case against RK Jain
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
The CBI today registered a fresh case of disproportionate assets against income tax officer Rakesh Kumar Jain, who was arrested in a bribe case in February this year.

The officer, from whose house and bank lockers a huge haul of gold and cash had been found at the time of a CBI raid on February 6, would now be separately chargesheeted in the disproportionate assets case, besides the main case of corruption against him, CBI sources said.

On February 8, during a search of Jain's bank lockers, the CBI had recovered a brick of gold, weighing 1 kg, besides gold coins and jewellery, weighing 500 gm, worth Rs 15 lakh. The lockers were in the Sector 17 branch of the Bank of Baroda and the Sector 22 branch of the State Bank of Patiala.

In addition, two gold bricks, weighing 1 kg each, worth Rs 60 lakh, were recovered from the accused’s residence in Sector 22 at the time of his arrest by the CBI on February 6. An amount of Rs 24 lakh was also recovered from his residence.

The total value of gold and cash recovered from the accused’s possession was Rs 1.5 crore. CBI sleuths had also recovered documents pertaining to investment in shares worth Rs 60 lakh from his residence. The officer is currently out on bail.

A CBI official said they had registered the case after an inquiry revealed that the assets recovered from the accused’s residence and bank lockers far exceeded his income. CBI DIG Mahesh Aggarwal confirmed that a fresh case of disproportionate assets had been registered against Jain.

Jain was arrested while allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 50,000 from a real estate agent, Ashok Arora, for settling an issue pertaining to income tax notices served on him. Jain had initially demanded Rs 3.5 lakh as bribe and the deal was finally settled for Rs 2.5 lakh. Arora had paid him the first instalment of Rs 50,000 when the CBI laid a trap and arrested the accused. The bribe amount of Rs 50,000 was recovered from the undergarments of the accused’s mother. A lot of hue and cry was made by women in the house at the time of the CBI raid.

He had 16 bank accounts.

Assets, cash recovered from accused's house, lockers

Three gold bricks weighing 1 kg each Rs 24 lakh

Gold coins and jewellery weighing 500 g

Documents pertaining to investment in shares worth ~60 lakh 



Candidates using code words for liquor
 Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 31
Like bookies, candidates contesting the municipal corporation elections in Panchkula are reportedly using code words for buying liquor from vends to escape from the prying eyes of the police.

Yesterday, six cartons of liquor were seized from two vehicles in the Saketri area near the Mansa Devi Complex. The police arrested the drivers of these vehicles, who revealed that two candidates from ward No. 8 were supplying liquor to those residing in hutments in the area to woo them.

Sources said special code words, including names of soft drinks and initials of candidates' names were being used for the purpose. Mainly three types of liquor, Royal Stag, Officer's Choice and 8 PM Wine, was being used to woo slum voters. These are being used with changed names every day. The code word is decided in the morning itself.

"The names are being changed daily to avoid any check. Like when we reach a particular wine shop, we say "nimbu paani de de bees peti (give 20 cartons of lemonade)," said a candidate's supporter on condition of anonymity.

The supporter said words such as "nimbu pani" and "shikanjvi" were being commonly used while conversing on the phone.

He said, "For the first two days of a week, we use the code words 'Coke' for Officer's Choice wine and 'Limca' for Royal Stag. The next day we use the initials of a candidate's name. We also interchange the 'Coke' and 'Limca' names."

Another supporter said on condition of anonymity, "We don't send candidate's kin to fetch liquor and instead send supporters with a 'parchi' to avoid suspicion."

The owner of a liquor vend said on condition of anonymity, "We are informed in the morning itself that a candidate will use these initials for the supply of liquor and anyone who shows a 'parchi' with those initials is provided liquor according to the demand."

The sources said candidates were using more than one liquor vend for the supply to avoid suspicion. They said some supporters were trying to use fake "parchis" to get liquor.

800 bottles seized

As many as 800 bottles of liquor were seized from different areas in the Panchkula-Ambala commissionerate late on Friday evening. Commissioner of Police Rajbir Deswal, while confirming the seizure, said the police was maintaining a strict vigil. According to the police, these liquor bottles were being supplied by candidates to woo voters ahead of the MC elections.



Only 30 of 10,553 students of govt schools get a perfect 10
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Government schools in the city have put up a poor show in the CBSE Class X examinations, the results of which were declared yesterday, with only 30 of the total 10,553 students scoring a perfect 10 CGPA. Only one in every 351 students has managed to hit the bulls’ eye.

Even though the government schools have registered an overall pass percentage of 99.87, the number of students who have got a CGPA of 10 has gone down drastically from 44 last year to 30 this year.

The number of students who have got a CGPA of 9 is comparatively less, given the massive strength of students in the government schools. Only 177 (1.67 per cent) students have got a CGPA of 9 and above. Of them, 16 have got a CGPA of 9.8, 25 have got a CGPA of 9.6, one student has got a CGPA of of 9.5, 38 students have got a CGPA of 9.4, 49 students have got a CGPA of 9.2 and 48 students have got a CGPA of 9.

Government Model Senior Secondary School (GMSSS), Sector 35, has topped the chart among government schools in terms of performance on the 10 CGPA and 9 CGPA slots. While eight of its students have got a CGPA of 10, 31 students have got a CGPA of 9 and above, followed by the GMSSS, Sector 16, in which five students have got a CGPA of 10, while 31 students have got of a CGPA of 9 and above.

Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 37-B, has bagged the overall third spot with five of its students securing a CGPA of 10 and 16 students getting a CGPA of 9 and above.

On the 8 CGPA and above slot, the GMSSS, Sector 16, leads the chart with 62 of its students in that slot, followed by the GMSSS, Sector 35, which has 30 students in this category.

“The poor performance of students in the formative assessment-II test reduced their overall grades in the final results,” said a school Principal.

Interestingly, no students from popular schools in the city like the GMSSS, Sector 18, the GMSSS, Sector 20-D, and the GMSSS, Sector 22, have managed to get a CGPA of 10.

Top three govt schools

CGPA 10 9 8

School No of students

GMSSS-35 8 31 30

GMSSS-16 5 31 62

GMSSS-37-B 5 16 17



Prof Arora selected PEC Director
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
The UT Administration has selected Prof Manoj K Arora, an alumnus of PEC, as the new Director of the PEC University of Technology. Professor Arora is a faculty member at the IIT, Roorkee.

Seven candidates were interviewed in Chandigarh for the Director’s post in March, and one candidate in New Delhi recently by the selection committee.

Professor Arora, a PEC alumnus of the 1984 batch, is set to be one of the youngest directors of the university. He did his ME from the IIT, Roorkee, in 1986, and later completed his PhD from the University of Wales, Swansea (UK), in 1996. He is a Professor at the IIT, Roorkee, in the civil engineering department.

The five-year tenure of the present PEC Director, Manoj Datta, ended on March 31. However, in view of the ongoing selection process, Datta was given a three-month extension. His tenure will end on June 30. KK Sharma, Adviser to the Administrator, confirmed that Professor Arora had been selected as the new Director of the PEC University of Technology.



Verka milk prices up

Chandigarh, May 31
The city residents will have to shell out more to purchase the Verka milk as the Punjab State Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation (Milkfed) has increased the prices of Verka milk with immediate effect.

Milkfed has increased the price of the double toned milk from Rs 26 to Rs 27, standard milk from Rs 33 to Rs 35 and full-cream milk from Rs 36 to Rs 38.

The Verka officials said they had over 80 per cent share in the branded milk market in Chandigarh and Mohali and supply 350,000 litres a day to these cities. — TNS


16 malaria cases reported in 4 weeks 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
As many as 16 new cases of Malaria have been reported in the city over the past four weeks, a majority of them from the periphery.

The cases were reported from different parts of the city, including Sector 38-West, Mani Majra, Colony Number 5 and Dhanas. These are the first 16 cases reported this year.

According to the officials involved in the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), the persons contracting the disease were identified and fumigation drives were conducted in the areas around their residences to curb the mutation of the malaria virus.

"We need to fumigate the areas where such cases are reported to curb the flight of mosquitoes spreading the malaria virus," said an official from the NVBDCP.

Last year, 225 cases of malaria were reported in the city. Almost all the villages and colonies in the city had been declared as Malaria-prone zones.

According to the experts, owing to a regular mutation of the dengue and malaria viruses every year, these tend to become resistant to the medicines offered. During an international conference on virology held at the PGI last year, the experts had explained that how mutation of the virus affected the treatment and made the prevention of the disease all the more crucial.

The Chandigarh unit of the NVBDCP organised a health awareness camp at Milk Colony, Dhanas. Dr Mukhmohit Singh, Epidemiologist, Chandigarh, appealed to the general public to take precautions for the prevention and control of the malaria and dengue diseases. 


Fever, flu-like illness, fatigue, shivering, nausea and vomiting. 



Summer rush stretches train waiting lists
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
If you are planning to go on a vacation this summer by train, think twice. A majority of the long-route trains have huge waiting lists. The Chandigarh-Lucknow Express leads in the trains with huge waiting lists. It has a waiting list of 386 passengers for the next one week. Following it is the Chandigarh-Allahabad Unchahar Express, which has a waiting list of 225 passengers for the next 10 days. Even the train to Guwahati has a waiting list of 324 passengers (till June 5).

The rise in the number of passengers is owing to the approaching summer vacations.

In response to the increase in bookings, the Ambala division is adding one additional coach each to the Chandigarh-Lucknow Express and Chandigarh-Allahabad Unchahar Express on a daily basis. However, there are no berths available before mid-June. “The division will add extra coaches to other trains also to meet the summer rush as and when required,” said Senior Division Commercial Manager of the Railways Gulshan.

He said to clear the heavy rush of passengers from the city for the Lucknow trains, the authorities had planned to start a summer special to Varanasi via Lucknow from May 3. In the future also, the railway authorities will start special summer trains, if required, he said.

“I wanted to get a ticket booked for Kanpur but the waiting list is too long for the next fortnight. So, I am planning to go by plane,” Sakshi, a house wife said.



Sec 30 residents grapple with low water pressure
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
The residents of Sector 30 have been facing the problem of low water pressure for the past few days. Those residing in the upper floors are the worst hit.

The problem has been attributed to the repair of a pipeline in Sector 30. The residents stated that the consumption of water increases significantly during the summers.

A resident of Sector 30-A said: “We have been at the receiving end of this problem for the past a week and it’s really tough to manage with low water pressure in the summers".

Kamal Kumar, who lives in a joint family, stated that their daily routing got disrupted due to low water pressure, particularly in the morning hours. “We often get late for the office due to the water problem,” he added.

Yashpal Sharma, Junior Engineer (JE), Public Health, said the repair work on the pipeline was in progress and soon the problem would be solved. “By Monday, we will complete the repair work”, he added. 



Know your candidate
Contestants list their priorities
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 31
Ward 18 comprises the mini Panchkula that is Sector 20. It has approximately 110 societies. This ward has always remained neglected. As many as 13 candidates are contesting the elections from this ward. Some of the strong contenders are:

Upender Ahluwalia

(Sanitation, continuous supply of water top priorities)

Upender Ahluwalia, who is also the richest candidate of all, is contesting the elections from this ward independently. Upender, who is also the former councillor, has been in this profession since long and has a political background.

“Sector 20 has the half of the population and this ward always lacked basic amenities. Every sector has a number of parks, but this sector has just two parks. I will do everything possible for my ward,” said Upender.

She said: “Sanitation, carpeting of roads and continuous supply of water would be my priorities.”

Ashish Garg

(Wants to do something for ward residents)

Ashish Garg recently joined the Congress after he was not given a ticket by the BJP to contest the elections. Garg proves to be a strong candidate for Upender Ahluwalia. Garg is contesting the elections independently.

“I want to do something for the residents of my ward. That’s why I am contesting the elections independently after I failed to get the ticket from the BJP. There are so many problems in this ward, which need to be solved,” said Garg.

He said: “My first issue will be to get this ward in the jurisdiction of the Municipal Corporation from the Haryana Urban Development Authority.”

He said setting up a fire station for the ward would be his priority.

Other candidates contesting the elections from this ward are Pawan Jain, Naunihal Singh, Balwinder Singh, etc.

Ward 19

Ward 19 comprises Sector 22 to Sector 28. The major issue in this ward is of the dumping ground that lies in Sector 23. These sectors have always remained neglected. As many as 13 candidates are contesting elections from his ward.

Tarun Bhandari

(Promises to make the ward most beautiful)

Bhandari is contesting the elections independently. He is the former councillor and has been actively taking part in the development of the city.

“Enhancement of HUDA sectors here and the shifting of the dumping ground will be the two major issues that will be dealt first. These sectors are lagging behind in development,” said Bhandari.

He said: “If I win, I will make this ward most beautiful among all wards. I will definitely live up to the expectations of the people.”

Amar Singh Saini

(Aware of ground realities)

Saini is contesting the elections from this ward on the INLD party symbol.

“I have been the councillor of the area and I am aware of the ground realities of the problems being faced by the people. During the door-to-door canvassing, there were a number of problems that were solved by us then and there,” said Saini.

He said: “If I have won consistently that means I am living up to the expectations of the people. I will definitely win this time as well.”

Ward 20

Ward 20, the last ward of the Panchkula Municipal Corporation, comprises the Ramgarh area and the nearby villages. Around 15 candidates are contesting the elections from this ward.

Seema Chaudhary

(Wants to make villages the real part of the city)

Seema Chaudhary, who is the former Municipal Councillor, is contesting the elections on the INLD party symbol.

She said her priority was to make the villages the real part of the city.

“These villages are counted as part of Panchkula district, but are lagging behind in terms of development,” said Chaudhary.

Chaudhary proves to be a tough candidate for others as she has won all elections contested till now.

She said: “Till now, these villages don’t have electricity and water throughout the day, and it is said that they are part of Panchkula.”



Candidates create mess at venues
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 31
Candidates contesting the Municipal Corporation elections are having cleanliness and development in the city as their main agendas, but they did not bother to get the garbage removed from the venues where they were holding meetings. Even after five minutes of the meeting, the littered garbage was not noticed by any of the candidates.

Due to the last day of the campaigning, meetings and gatherings of around 50-100 people were held by almost every candidate in his/her respective wards. After they wound up their long speeches on cleanliness, an altogether different story was revealed.

Spilled tea, refreshments, paper plates and disposable glasses were found littered in the posh areas of Panchkula.

“Shopkeepers of the respective markets also requested the candidates to clear the garbage. But after getting no response, they got it cleared at their own level,” said a person in Sector 19.

“Those people who can’t maintain cleanliness at the venues where their own meetings were held, how could they promise to keep the city clean,” said Vishal Raman, a resident of Sector 15, Panchkula.

“We always make sure that whenever we hold any meeting or gathering and get refreshments, garbage is cleared by workers engaged for this purpose,” said Abhi Mehta, husband of Ranjeeta Mehta, who is contesting elections from Ward number 10.

Campaigning ends

Campaigning for the Municipal Corporation elections, which are scheduled on June 2, ended at 5 pm today. Now, the candidates are using informal means like word of mouth to woo voters.

Cops hold flag march

As many as 600 policemen hold a flag march this evening ahead of the Municipal Corporation elections. The march started from the police lines and the policemen went to every colony in the city.



Small reptile found in drinking water
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, May 31
In a shocking incident, a small reptile was found in the drinking water when a resident was filling the water from a tap in Sector 7, Panchkula.

The resident has decided to complain about the incident, to the Health Department.

"I was filling water from the tap, when a small reptile suddenly came from inside the water tap. I got frightened to see such horrifying thing," said KM Sarao, the owner of the house.

He further added, " It has been for the past two days that we are getting such reptiles in our fresh water tap. Today again such a reptile came from inside the tap."

Notably, the fear has gripped the entire area, ever since the residents have come to know about this incident. They have started using packaged water bottles from the market.



Police recruits give tough time to tutors
Aneesha Sareen
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
More than 40 per cent of the new UT police constable recruits do not know even the basics of the English language. They gave a trying time to the instructors at a three-week English-speaking course conducted at the recruit training centre in Sector 26. A batch of 30 constables are now know only 200 sentences in English of common use and are still ignorant of the tenses, grammar and pronunciation.

Raising a big question mark on the entire exercise in which they were taught to speak in English in just three weeks, the UT police still presented the constables with certificates with much fanfare today.

As this correspondent interacted with a few recruits, it was revealed that they knew only certain sentences used in daily policing and could not speak anything more than those sentences, which they have "mugged up" during the course.

The list of 200 sentences the constables had mugged up during the three-week course included "Please park your car there" and "You are requested to obey traffic rules".

Capt S Chaudhery (retd), former Principal of DAV (PG) College, Pehowa, Kurukshetra, who taught the constables the basics of the language during the course, admitted that a few constables were very poor in English. But, all were very enthusiastic to learn the language, he said.

"Some of them were indeed very poor and did not know how to speak in English at all. They had to be taught from the beginning, tenses, pronunciation and the making of sentences. But, three weeks is a very short time and they have been taught only the basics and some sentences of common use," said Chaudhery. He also said the constables had been told to read a lot.

The next course for 45 police personnel will now begin in the Police Lines.

Sentences taught during the course

Please park your car here.
Please obey traffic rules.
Thank you for your co-operation. 



Dhawan’s cleanliness drive a sham
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Former Union Minister and senior BJP leader Harmohan Dhawan today launched a cleanliness campaign in the Sector 26 grain market. Though it was a cleanliness drive, garbage from only the market committee area was removed. There were many other areas in the market were heaps of garbage could be seen.

On this occasion, Dhawan said the Market Committee collects crores of rupees from the traders, but do little for the maintenance and development of the market. Dhawan said there were 19 permanent and 35 contractual safai karamcharis. A majority of them work at senior officials' residences and offices, which results in the unhygienic condition in the grain market.

Dhawan, along with senior members of the market, also met the secretary of the Market Committee and urged him to allow traders to set up temporary sheds in front of their shops.



Deputy Mayor, Chief Engineer spar over road recarpeting
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Differences among the MC officials and councillors surfaced when an ugly verbal spat between Deputy Mayor and the Chief Engineer took place in the Chief Engineer’s office last evening.

According to information, a verbal spat between Deputy Mayor Satish Kainth and MC Chief Engineer SS Bida started over the recarpeting of a road in front of Centra Mall in Industrial Area, Phase I. Sources said while the Deputy Mayor was insisting for the recarpeting of the road, the Chief Engineer was bent on explaining the process involved in the recarpeting of a road.

Suddenly, both started shouting at each other. Even the MC staff heard their shouts of anger. The matter also reached MC Commissioner Vivek Pratap Singh and Mayor Subhash Chawla, who managed a compromise between them.

It is not the first time when a verbal spat has taken place between the Deputy Mayor and the Chief Engineer. Last year, during former Mayor Rajbala Malik's tenure, she had entered into a verbal fight with the then Chief Engineer in the Mayor’s room over the issue of installing paver blocks in the Deputy Mayor’s ward.



2 months after man dies of burns, police registers murder case
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Two months after a 32-year-old resident of Fatehgarh Sahib died of burn injuries, the UT police has registered a case of murder against a dismissed UT police constable and his wife. The police has booked the dismissed constable Kulwinder Singh and his wife Karamjeet Kaur for the murder of Ranjot Singh by setting him ablaze on Match 24 this year.

Even though the victim had recorded his statements before his death, stating that the fire was an accident, the police registered a case of murder after the victim’s family alleged it was a murder and not an accident. An enquiry was conducted by the police.

Ranjot, who worked with a private firm besides doing agriculture in his native village, had visited a place near the IT Park on March 24. He was rushed to the hospital with 90 per cent burns. Ranjot succumbed to injuries on March 29.

The police recorded Ranjot's statements at the hospital. He had stated he went to a place near the IT park at 9.30 pm on March 24 to meet a friend. He parked his car in a parking lot and went to answer nature's call. He was also drunk at that time and could not find his car keys when he returned to the parking lot. He lit a matchstick and started to search for the keys on the road near his car. As he was searching for the keys, the oil spilt on the road caught fire. He suffered burns and was rushed to the hospital by Kulwinder and his wife Karamjeet, both residents of Mani Majra.

The members of Ranjot's family alleged that Kulwinder and his wife had murdered Ranjot and set him and his Swift car afire as they had a dispute with him. Kulwinder, who was dismissed as a constable many years ago, owed Rs 8 lakh to Ranjot, stated the members of his family. The police also said Ranjot allegedly had an affair with Karamjeet.

Based on the allegations of Ranjot’s family, the police registered a case of murder under section 302 of the IPC at the Mani Majra police station today.

The police said Kulwinder and his wife were the neighbours of Ranjot’s in-laws, thus they know each other. “We have registered the case solely on the allegations of the members of the victim's family and are investigating further,” said DSP Vijay Kumar. 



Latest setup to improve mobile connectivity at PGI
Ritika Jha Palial
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
In a move that will save patients and their attendants from shuttling between various buildings at the PGI for locating and communicating with each other, the institution is soon going to install a setup that will improve mobile network connectivity on the campus.

Following the approval granted to the institution for installing the multi-centric setup, a survey conducted by Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL) revealed that the mini-antennas installed on the buildings at the PGI caught the networks of only two service providers.

"We had proposed to the Telecom Ministry to provide us with a setup that could support the networks of all the service providers. The PGI is visited by people from different parts of the country. The network needs vary from one patient to the other. We are studying the terms and conditions of the setup. We hope to complete the process within the next three months," said a senior PGI official.

Owing to the poor mobile phone network inside all its buildings, patients and their attendants have a harrowing time locating each other on the PGI campus everyday.

Since the system of computerisation has failed to take off till date, connecting through mobile phones is the only mechanism that helps the attendants to locate their patients at the PGI.

The officials also admit that patients' attendants are often heard speaking unusually aloud in the corridors due to poor network. "This leads to a lot of disturbance and also causes inconvenience to the users," said an official at Nehru Hospital.

Sources said poor network connectivity was one of the major causes of overcrowding at the PGI as more than one attendant came with each patient. While one stays with the patient, the other moves around the counters.

Attendants keep shuttling between the Emergency Ward, Nehru Hospital or New OPD Block for registration, collecting test reports and further consultation or admission of their patients. They have to struggle while trying to connect to each other over the phone. The network problem is witnessed more inside the buildings.



Brain stroke is preventable, says PGI expert 
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
A public lecture on stroke (brain attack) was organised at the PGI today. A stroke occurs whenever there is either a blockage in the blood supply to the brain or the rupture of blood vessels causing a brain haemorrhage.

Brain attack is the third leading cause of death and a major cause of disability. According to the estimates, every minute four or five new cases of stroke occur in India.

As a result of either a decrease in blood supply or a brain haemorrhage, there is a damage to the cells in the brain and depending upon the site of damage, patients may feel weakness in the one side of the body, loss of ability to speak, visual abnormalities, confused behaviour or loss of feeling in different parts.

The main warning signs that a patient may be having a stroke include sudden weakness or speech abnormalities, headache, vision problems and dizziness. Distortion in the mouth or the dragging of either foot or clumsiness while walking are the other symptoms.

Dr Manoj Goyal, Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, PGI, delivered a lecture on brain attack under the Golden Jubilee Public Lecture Series in the New OPD Block today.

Around 130 patients, attendants, students and senior citizens attended the lecture.


Control of blood pressure

Control of blood sugar and cholesterol

Regular exercise

Regular health check-up

Weight control


Avoid smoking

Avoid alcohol, drugs

Avoid fatty foods



Britain sets up mission in city
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
British diplomat David Lelliott’s dream of working in Chandigarh has come true as he has been appointed the British Deputy High Commissioner here.

“I first came to Chandigarh 20 years ago. I was so impressed with the city that I wanted to come back. Now, I am here,” said Lelliott, who is still settling down in his new home with his wife and two daughters.

Before coming here, David Lelliott was the Assistant Deputy Governor of Gibraltar.

Last night, Canadian Consul General Scott Slessor organised a reception for David Lelliott and his wife, where some eminent citizens, including bureaucrats, technocrats, doctors, academicians, businessmen and others were present. Richard Hyde, British Deputy Commissioner in Hyderabad, was also present.

Slessor said with the British Deputy High Commissioner posted here, the strength of Chandigarh’s diplomatic corps has doubled.

Chandigarh will be the sixth British mission outside New Delhi. Other British Deputy High Commission offices are already operational in Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Great Britain thus becomes the second nation after Canada to open its diplomatic mission in the city.

Early this month, Belgium also opened its visa application collection centre in the city. Chandigarh has now facilities for collection of visa applications for several countries, including Australia.



Ropar admn to improve school infrastructure
Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 31
Twenty-three resource rooms in addition to equal number of class rooms will be constructed in various schools of the district at a cost of Rs 1.75 crore. This was stated by Ropar Deputy Commissioner PK Aggrawal, while convening a meeting to review the works being carried out under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan and Mid-Day Meal Scheme recently.

Aggrawal directed the officials concerned to conduct survey of all schools to ensure that there were no unsafe buildings at the district schools. He asked them to submit a report within 15 days.

The district administration has received Rs 129.49 lakh for constructing 23 classrooms in different schools, he said. Rs 97.60 lakh has been received for setting up science laboratories and Rs 19 lakh for constructing toilets in schools, he said.



Govt teachers demand Maluka’s ouster
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 31
Demanding scrapping of the new rationalisation policy, government schoolteachers today protested near the office of District Education Officer.

The teachers from Mohali district, who were protesting under the banner of Government Teachers’ Union, Punjab, burnt an effigy of the Education Minister.

Teachers protested against the merger of schools, subject-wise seniority lists, non-regularisation of services of teachers on contract, and unnecessary transfers. They also sought the cancellation of alleged false cases registered against agitating teachers.

The protestors said the Education Department had ignored the student-teacher ratio under the RTE Act, and increased the number of class periods, thus harming the students.

The teachers demanded Education Minister Sikander Singh Maluka’s removal in view of the schoolbook scam of the department.



Lack of uniformity raises questions
Most students with a 10 CGPA belong to institutes following school-based system
Vivek Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Questions are being raised on parameters of assessment being followed in the school-based examination system for Class X by many Central Board of Secondary Education-affiliated schools.

As many as 1,369 students from the tricity scored the perfect 10 CGPA in the Class X exams, results of which were declared yesterday. With most of these students being from schools which are following the school-based system, objections are being raised against the lack of uniformity in the school-based examination system and the continuous and comprehensive (CCE) evaluation. The system, reportedly, is creating a lot of anomalies while assessing the students.

“Under the school-based examination system, the CBSE has allowed the schools to either use question papers supplied by the board or to create their own set of questions papers. This is where the uniformity gets diluted in the overall examination system,” said principal of Manav Mangal School, Sector 21, Sanjay Sardana. Sardana said various schools were creating their own set of question papers, which was possibly leading to the rise in number of students getting the perfect score.

“I believe the board should have complete control as far as conducting of the examination is concerned,” said Madhu Behl, CBSE counsellor and principal of KBDAV School, Sector 7.

She said the problem with the CCE was that it was not being implemented properly, since every school was following its own system, which in a way had diluted the overall academic atmosphere in the schools. “Prejudices of teachers and the school authorities while evaluating students’ academic and extra-curricular performance can not be ruled out,” she said.

Dr Rakesh Sachdeva, principal of DAV School, Sector 15, said if uniformity was the issue, then the board could think of conducting both the summative assessments on its own, and leave the formative assessment to the schools. “This way, the issue of uniformity between the school-based and board-based exams will be solved. Schools will not be able to make their own set of question papers and will have to follow the uniform date-sheet,” she said.

Gurpeet Singh Bakshi, administrator of St Kabir School, said both the systems were not foolproof. While in the school-based system, the school had complete control over its results, the board-based system too gave it most of the control. “What we need is an honest assessment of students’ capabilities. Formative assessment is fine, but external supervision is very important,” he said.

A city-based PMT trainer Dr Arvind Kashyap said there was a huge difference in the quality of children who were coming for the preparation for the medical entrance these days from those who used to come three to four years back. “There is clearly some dilution in the academic standards of students, even after getting a perfect 10 CGPA," he said. 

Cut-offs to go up for class xi admissions

As many as 1,369 students of CBSE-affiliated schools in the tricity secured the CGPA of 10 this year, which is nearly 40 per cent more than the last year. Many fear that since admission to Class XI in government schools is about to start in Chandigarh, the increase in the number of perfect scorers will increase the overall cut-off marks at the popular government schools. This will affect the students who failed to score well in the Class X examinations



AIIMS to hold entrance test today
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
After appearing for the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET), medical aspirants from the city are now all set to try their luck for another coveted medical entrance examination for admission to the MBBS courses at the All-India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), New Delhi.

The entrance test will take place in the city tomorrow. This year there are 72 seats available for Indians and one for foreign nationals. Of these, 11 seats are reserved for the scheduled castes, five for the scheduled tribes, 19 for the other backward classes, and 37 seats for the general category.

From August 2013, six new AIIMS-like institutes will start functioning in Bhopal, Patna, Jodhpur, Rishikesh, Raipur and Bhubaneswar. Each institute is offering 100 seats, and admissions for the upcoming academic session will be done through the same entrance examination.

The 3.5-hour test will have one paper consisting of 200 objective type questions from physics, chemistry, biology and general knowledge. Each of the sciences field will have 60 questions, while 20 questions will be from GK.

City-based PMT trainer Dr Arvind Goyal said each incorrect response will fetch one-third negative mark for the students. No credit will be given for the questions left unanswered. More than one response will be treated as a wrong answer and negatively marked, he said.

Goyal advised the students not to attempt the question paper on the basis of guesswork. Giving tips to students, experts said candidates should not take pen or pencil to the examination hall as the same will be provided at the examination centre.

However, as soon as the pen or pencil is supplied, students should check it, so that if need be they can get it replaced. Before the commencement of the test, the candidate should check that the test booklet code printed on the answer sheet is the same as that printed on the test booklet. 



PU paper-setters goof yet again
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
Not learning from previous mistakes, paper-setters at Panjab University goofed again; this time in the sixth semester exam of BA (honours) held at the economics department today.

Jivleen Kaur, a student, said there were four units in the question paper, and each unit was supposed to carry two questions each from the four units in the syllabus. “The second unit of the question paper had one question out of syllabus, the third unit had one question out of syllabus and the other was from the second unit, while the fourth unit had both the questions from the third unit,” she said.

Another student said the out of syllabus questions led to confusion among all the students. “Students were at the receiving end because of the mistake made by the paper-setter,” the student said.

There are a total of 29 students in the sixth semester of BA (honours). They are planning to make a representation to the controller of examination. COE Parvinder Singh was unavailable for comments.

NSUI leader Sunny Mehta said the university should carry out reforms to check such regular blunders being made by the paper-setters.



Appointment of joint HoD in PEC dept surprises faculty
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 31
In a surprising move that has raised many an eyebrow, the Director of PEC University of Technology has created a parallel post to the head of department (HoD) in the electronics and electrical communications department. The post named as the joint HoD will jointly take all the decisions and look after administrative work of the department.

Presently, Prof Neelam R Parkash is the HoD of the department. PEC Director Manoj Datta has assigned the responsibility of joint head of department to Prof Neena Gupta. As per orders passed on May 23, all the papers meant for the HoD’s perusal will be routed through the joint HoD.

It has been directed that all the meetings of academic committee, academic and administrative matters will be chaired jointly by the HoD and joint HoD of the department, and minutes of the meeting will be jointly prepared by both of them.

With less than a month left for the PEC Director’s tenure to end, the sudden decision has surprised the faculty. The five-year tenure of the PEC Director, Manoj Datta, ended on March 31.

However, in view of the ongoing selection process, Datta was given a three-month extension.

“It seems that the order of appointing a joint HOD is to favor an individual, and this becomes all the more difficult to understand when Dr Datta’s term as the Director is going to get over on June 30,” said a faculty member.

Another senior professor said assigning the same duties to two different professors would create administrative instability. “Appointing two people on one chair will be administratively inconvenient for both of them,” said the faculty member. The PEC University of Technology Director, when contacted, was unavailable for comments.



From schools and colleges

Summer camp

Chandigarh: A summer camp was organised at BMD Public School, Sector 63. The two-day camp consisted of many educational, inspirational and fun activities. Children were involved in activities such as aerobics, classical dance, karate and folk dance. A healthy tiffin competition was also conducted, in which children of Classes I to III participated with great enthusiasm. They brought healthy and nutritious food in their tiffins. Calligraphy competition was also organised, beside a dance competition. They came in colourful costumes and presented their dances gracefully. On the final day of the camp, musical chair was played by the children.

Inter-house competition

Mohali: Inter-house kho-kho matches were held at Shishu Niketan School. Students participated under different categories for boys and girls. A tough competition was witnessed among the players of different teams. The finals were played this week. In the under-12 category, boys and girls of Himgiri House bagged the title. In the boys’ under-14 category, Nilgiri House stood first. In boys’ and girls’ under-17 category, Shiwalik House players were victorious.

Scholarship test

The Gian Jyoti Group of Institutions has launched Gian Ankur Scholarship for promoting girl education in the region. Under this initiative, girl students passing out of Class XII, who are keen to get admission to the BTech programme, will be giving a chance to appear in a scholarship test. Each selected student will get a scholarship of Rs. 2.5 lakh. JVK Jadon, director, Gian Jyoti Group of Institutions, motivated the students to keep the spirits high and put in hard work in the days to come.

Magic show

Panchkula: A magic show was organised at The British School. The magician showed a number of tricks to the children. The show was a part of the summer camp being held in the school. Children applauded the tricks. Students were also called on to the stage to participate in the tricks. — TNS



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